Any industry can be targeted by cybercriminal activity, but lately healthcare businesses have noticed a particular surge in their victimization. It’s not only their own information at risk, but databases full of client information that could be exposed without adequate privacy measures set to protect it.
Read on to discover what challenges the healthcare industry faces when it comes to online security, and what businesses like you can do to protect its data.
The Challenges You Face
Why are hackers targeting this particular industry? Many services have a large database of customer data – like restaurants, hosptaility or travel – so why healthcare specifically?
Healthcare providers tend to work with very complex and therefore advanced systems in order to deliver top-of-the-line services to people that really need it. The functionality of their equipment of paramount, thus the digital network they rely on will be wide-reaching and lucrative.
Meanwhile, cybersecurity isn’t their only compliance concern. Healthcare providers also have to work within acceptable standards of care and abide by HIPAA as well as other regulations. In balancing all those important policies, cybersecurity can sometimes slip through the cracks. Threat actors wait for these lapses to strike, and that’s when your business could get into serious trouble.
The Risks You Face
With so many potential threats, which ones should healthcare workers be specifically looking out for? Some of the most common dangers negatively impacting these systems include:
- Improper device monitoring
- Insider threats
- Man-in-the-middle attacks
- DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks
- Simplistic cloud computing
What’s so dangerous about falling victim to malicious activity? On average, the healthcare industry experiences 2.8M breaches every month, making them more likely to get hit than any other industry. There can be massive financial repercussions, data loss and damages associated with breaches to healthcare organizations.
What You Can Do
Prevent accidental insider threats and train employees to recognize suspicious activity by providing them with frequent, sufficient cybersecurity awareness training. The better informed your organization is as a whole, the faster you can locate and eliminate potential threats before they escalate into a full-on breach.
Meanwhile, your security team should be hard at work finding potential weak points in the system that may be a target for cyberattackers. Risk and vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, and other practices can all detect potential security problems based on the modern threat landscape. They help to prevent breaches before they do any damage.
However it’s not just about monitoring your digital space, but keeping track of or securely locking away physical confidential files too. Additionally, you may need hardware upgrades to bring your database into the 21st century.
Upgrading Your Systems
Still using a legacy operating system? Newer storage systems have better digital security that protect against the tactics used by today’s cybercriminals. They may also run faster, or upgrade automatically and overnight, thus cutting down on time spent troubleshooting and lost productivity while the system is down. Cloud computing, for example, is an encrypted solution that nonetheless enables remote access so you can log in as long as you have internet.
Though it may take time to move your database from a legacy system to something more modern, it’s ultimately worth the time and effort to guarantee the most effective cybersecurity in your healthcare business moving forward.
The physical and digital security of your healthcare organization is paramount as attacks on this sector rise over time. The industry has become of particular interest to hackers and thus innovative solutions are required to protect your business. Given the severity of breaches compared to those happening to other industries, right now is the perfect time to take action on improving your cybersecurity posture.
From training to upgraded systems, start taking defenses against today’s cyberthreat landscape. The suggestions made here are only the beginning. You might also consider cyber liability insurance to help you get back on your feet after an attack, and recuperate some of the financial stress caused by litigation fees or followup repairs. Moreover, combining these factors in whichever way makes the most sense for your business will optimize your intended security landscape.